How important is fit? Does surface impact lifespan?

How does adjusting the surface affect the life span of a bowling ball? - Michael Fitzgerald, Phoenix AZ
 
Josh Blanchard - Adjusting the surface of your ball is something that is important to obtain great ball reaction but should be done with knowledge. The reason I say this is because you can take a ball that was not meant to be sanded down to a low grit (360) and  this could ruin chemical composition of the coverstock. On the other side of that, if you had a sanded ball and than polished it highly, you might have clogged the pours of that cover never to really get it to react the same again. 
  This is the main reason bowlers have so many balls. They can change to a different coverstock to obtain the desired shape the Lane is asking for that day. Changing the surfaces slightly on a ball and maintaining the box finish monthly will help the longevity of the balls reaction. 
 
Craig Spencer - This is a tricky topic. I'll answer the question directly at the end, but will need to explain something first. In many cases someone will hit their bowling ball with a very low grit or with a lot of polish and after trying to return it back to it's previous finish, the ball won't perform as well. After that, they feel like the ball is "ruined" or "life span" is gone. In many of these cases, the ball just needs a full resurfacing process that is similar to the manufacturing process which requires starting with a very low grit and working your way back up. This insures a thin layer of that cover stock is removed, and that thin layer is the layer that has been altered in an extreme way. In most cases, this will cause the ball to perform similar to how it did prior to the extreme surface adjustment. So, in my opinion, it does not alter the life span specifically, only the performance and the performance can be revitalized if the right steps are taken. The only time the life span will be shortened is with the absorption of dirt and oil. This is why the balls that absorb oil at the fastest rates have the shortest life spans.
Why is it important to have a proper fit and not one size fits all? - Kurwin Forest, Surprise AZ
 
Josh Blanchard -  A proper fit is just like a fingerprint or a footprint of who they are. Making sure you see a certified Pro Shop to get help when trying to get a proper fit or fix current fit issues.  The reason you don’t want to have “one size” fits all is best understood like this. Imagine if you didn’t have good vision and needed glasses. Without a proper exam to tell you how blind you were, you wouldn’t know what each eyes prescription was. Now imagine there was no exam and you were just asked if you were; a little, medium or really blind. Than someone would put you in a generic pair of glasses with the wrong prescription you needed to fit your exact needs. Sometimes it takes a few tweaks to get a perfect fit for special hands
 
Craig Spencer -  You are going to need some patience for my answer on this one, but it will all eventually tie into why "one size doesn't fit all". In my opinion there isn't really a such thing as a proper fit, but let me explain further. Let's say you have the world's greatest fitter fit 100 league bowlers that have bowled for 5 years or more and let's say 50 of them didn't have a proper fit, probably 35 of that 50 would hate a "proper fit", because it feels so different from what they are used to. This solidifies that a "proper fit" isn't defined by being the fit that always feels best to every player, so then, what is the definition of a proper fit? I'd say that most people "in the know" would tell you a definition that sounds something like "a fit that allows for a consistent release, the ability to vary release, requires as little grip pressure and tension on the hand as possible". As of right now, I would tell you the same exact thing and in most manuals from today's leading pro shop instructor classes you will see a relaxed fit that doesn't call for excessive reverse. However, in the urethane era, they did the complete opposite, a "proper fit" was a stretched span with a lot of reverse. You could make the argument that we didn't know better back then, but maybe we don't know better now? Additionally, today's "proper fit" helps with things like rev rate and promotes a certain release. If the rules that govern the oil conditions or the bowling balls changes drastically like we saw in previous eras (urethane to resin, regulated oil length to short oil), then it's very possible that the release characteristics that today's "proper fit" promotes may not be desired and those on the cutting edge will come up with new fitting tricks to try and help alter the bowler's release to be more optimal for that environment. If something like this can change over time, it's hard to call it "proper" in my opinion. The short answer is that I believe the fit is more of an art than a science, and in art there isn't a such thing as "proper" and in art, one size can't fit all. It is a tool that you have to adapt to the bowler and the environment.